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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Confused about flare ups.

Hi I have been following blogs for a few weeks now. A little confused about flare ups etc. I was diagnosed 2 years ago at the time I couldn't lift a cup or clean teeth and could hardly walk. I have been in agony with pain and muscle fatigue ever since. Almost 2 years to the day I had felt this way I woke 1 morning with no pain!! it lasted 2 months, thought I was cured!! then back to square 1. When first diagnosed I was given no points from Atos. 6 months after the kind lady at job centre told me to go to docs and get back on sick which I did, I have now been in wrag group a year as doc wrote them a letter as she was horrified at my treatment. As I have had this money for a year it has now been reduced to £69 same as job seekers. I am training to be a counsellor 1 night a week at college, so this gets me off having to do voluntary work, it is tiring but worth it as my mind is alert, don't think I have fibro fog much!! Keeping my mind busy and watching comedy reading jokes etc works well for me. I take amitryptiline and venlafaxine, ranitidine, docusate and fybrogel I now have bad constipation and half gained 2 stone!! Have tried gabapentin as well but that made me too drowsy I also have tramadol but that makes me sick Ha ha!! I also have found swimming twice a week and steam room once a week pacing and lying down or at least with feet up most of the day to be beneficial. Sorry have written war and peace ha ha, I really am just confused about flare ups as although I am better following my regime I am in constant pain my muscles twitch, all trigger points hurt, muscles feel like I have done 24 hours in gym sometimes I can barely stand never mind walk because of muscle fatigue. Is this normal?

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Hi there

So sorry to hear u are not well, I used to wonder about flares too but now I no, mine states with feelin really cold can't heat up, them my pain gets worse , ringing I my ears gets louder , my vision gets worse blurry cant focus etc a flare means your symptions are amplified some more than others, I wrote a list of my symptoms and I no now wen a flare is, also I have wat I call a mini daily flare , as the day goes on my Fibro gets worse just a bit, as every hour passes I get more more worsening symptoms.

Take care Michelle

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Thanks for reply Michelle. My symptoms are worse in morning and evening but don't ever go away unfortunately.

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ive found my flares start with flu like symptoms i.e the deep aching throughout my body,runny nose,headachey etc my handsand feet sweel then over days sometimes weeks !! my so called normal fibro symptoms become much much worse then gradualy settle back down to my normal level of pain,stiffness and general fibro things. xx

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Hi, thanks for your reply munchkin62. I guess when the pain is at its worst then this is a flare. For me it seems like I have at least 1 bad flare a week then and just as it settles down along comes another one, and so it goes.

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I never seem to get flare ups,for the past year iv felt pain constantly,I just feel rough all the time,I think some people get these highs and lows and others like myself just constantly have something going on!..xx

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Hi pinkblossom sorry you are in constant pain, though reassuring that the way I feel is also quite normal for this dreadful condition. x

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Hi all fellow sufferers and particularly vajrayogin1, I too am in constant pain but I sort of struggle as best I can every day doing very little. I think of a flare up as the times when I really can't function at all for a few days(sometimes even weeks) at a time because of the intensity of the pain, especially when it is in my shoulders, neck and radiating across my head and into my left eye, usually, but sometimes it travels over to the right side just to catch me out..ha ha! Then I can hardly see to do anything much and the pain makes me feel so sick that I usually have to go back to bed and hope that I'll be able to sleep and that when I awake the pain may have eased a little. These awful headaches go on for days sometimes and all I can do is take painkillers like smarties!!! I was interested in munchkin62's reply as I sometimes feel like I am getting 'flu with runny nose , aching throughout whole body, sometimes upset stomach and shivering one minute and burning up the next. This week I have been very snuffly with sinus pain but that is now wearing off. Oh, the deep joy of it all. We never know how we are going to be from day to day and it is impossible to plan too far ahead. I just take each day as it comes and for the most part I am able to smile in spite of the pain so very few people are aware of just how dreadful I am feeling, although my husband, bless him, can read me quite well and he knows when I am not firing on all cylinders because I glaze over and seem in a world of my own. Even typing this has taken forever because of all the typos where I hit all the wrong keys. If I left it in its original version it would seem like complete gibberish. As it is I am aware I have rambled for which I apologise. Anyway, love and hugs to all who read this. XX

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I am heading for my 7th week in a flare. My fibro is chronic so I am never actually free from pain and it normally all over. But for me a flare always begins as though I am full of flu and I feel rough, dog rough. But have learnt to live with it and I make it work around me, not me work around it. That way I cope. Some people ask me HOW I can get used to the pain, I tell them 'it is not that I am used to it as such, more that I accept it is there', if that makes any sense. I hope you start to feel better soon, nothing worse than feeling bad when the festivities are around the corner xxxxx

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Thank you all for taking time to reply to my post. It means a lot as I don't Know any body locally with the same condition, after 2 years struggling on my own I now feel supported so thanks again. x

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A flare-up is a sudden outburst of or increase in the symptoms of a disease or condition. Flare-ups can happen from time to time and last an indefinite period, lengths of time can vary from one flare to the next. Also people are different and have different experiences of flare-ups.

Things can cause a flare-up -

Overdoing or over extending yourself physically, mentally and/or emotionally.

Lack of sleep or changes in sleep pattern.

Prolonged time in one body position, i.e. sitting in a cinema or driving in the car.

Viral and bacterial infections, i.e. getting a cold or flu or worsening of your other health conditions.

Changes in medications and/or over-the-counter remedies, herbs and supplements. (This might be something as small as a change from one medication manufacturer to another.)

Over stimulation of any sense: taste, touch, sound, sight and smell.

Seasonal variations in the weather.

Mental and emotional stresses like lack of support, anxiety about finances and relationship discord.

Hormonal changes associate with monthly cycles, like peri-menopause and menopause symptoms.

Sensitivities or allergies to certain foods or hygiene products, laundry detergent, etc. (Note that new sensitivities and allergies can develop.)

Ways to ease a flare-up -

Rest

Keep warm

Take your meds

Ease your stress load

Eat and drink sensibly

Take it easy

Not being able to completely prevent all Fibro flares, we need some coping techniques to help us through them. Soaking in a hot bath with Epsom Salts, if you're able to, is a good therapeutic treatment. Epsom salts are mostly magnesium sulphate, the magnesium in a highly absorbent form that can pass easily through our skin and target our muscles, where it's needed. You can even get Epsom Salts with added essential oils, for aromatherapy as well as for the added benefit of that oil. For example, chamomile is a good relaxant, smells good, and is good for your skin as well. Having a heating pad, rice sock, or heated mattress pad is also a good idea. Paraffin wax baths can be beneficial for hands, feet, and elbows, and is also good for the skin. Resting often during a flare is essential. Take naps whenever you can, or just sit and relax with some soothing music or a favourite movie.

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Thank you, I have tried Epsom salt bath too, although they were quite expensive for a small tub from chemist and I wasn't sure how much to put in. I also get hot and cold have heat pads hot water bottles etc and most importantly a very understanding and loving partner who has never doubted me, after 2 years others have now realised this is for real and that I'm not the amazing actress they thought I was!

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